Right Now x Zenith Collective – Part I: Occidente by Ana Vaz

By Zenith Collective and Anika Baset
occidente ana vaz france
Ana Vaz


A film by Ana Vaz

Experimental, France (2014) 15 mins

What starts off as an imageless soundscape turns into a surfer riding a monstrous perfect wave. The natural world is seen to have been transformed by humans, our creation of industries, cities and objects which all impact or have come from nature. Social structures and their conventions, colonisation and art are seen from a view of being foreign, manufactured. What is the journey of objects and situations? Where and how do we all fit together?

Words by Anika Baset

Occidente is an experimental French short film that considers the interrelationships between the development of human cultures and the natural environment. The film is a constant interplay between varied, sometimes dissonant, soundscapes and moving image of historical legacies, cultural practice and the phenomena of the natural world.

Initially, the film moves through representations of the ways European societies have attempted to capture, control and colonise Mother Nature, as man tries to prove his might in face of the forces that remind him of his inherent fragility.

Thumping gunshots and eerie creaking serve as a warning that this position is fraught with danger and the risk of losing connection to a source that is fundamental to our existence. The alternative, as posed by later, more integrated scenes, is to float, flourish and flow with the rhythms of the natural world. In doing so, man treats his existence as a constant ebb and flow, a dance with Life; a far more harmonious approach which sees impermanence as a condition to be cherished, not feared.


You can find Ana Vaz’s Occidente and the work of many more international filmmakers, on Zenith Collective’s online archive.


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Sophie Cousins’ book Renewal: Five Paths to a Fairer Australia is, in many respects, a proposal. For Cousins, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided Australians with an opportunity to reconsider the ways our society currently functions. Cousins aptly makes her case – while in some ways the pandemic reinforced burgeoning inequalities, it also presented us the chance to apply collectivist values to solve systemic problems.